Impact of trade exhibitions on performance of SMEs in Tanzania

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master of Science
Title Impact of trade exhibitions on performance of SMEs in Tanzania
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Organizations are increasing the use of various strategies to promote their products and
services in their target market. This research sought to examine the impact of trade
exhibitions /shows on performance of SMEs in Mwanza, Tanzania. This study was guided
by the following objectives. (i) to identify the elements of the promotion mix are integrated
in the SIDO sponsored trade shows/exhibition in Mwanza city (ii) to analyze the SMEs’
views about trade exhibition as a tool marketing communication mix in Mwanza city.(iii) to
identify factors that influence the SMEs to participate in trade and exhibitions organized by
SIDO in Mwanza city (iv) to assess performance position of SMEs during and after trade
shows/ exhibitions sponsored by SIDO in Mwanza city.
The study surveyed 68 SME operators using self administered questionnaires. Also in-depth
interviews were used with selected SIDO officials and SME operators. Data was analyzed
using descriptive statistics with the help of SPSS. The study findings indicated, the majority
of SME operators have a positive attitude towards SIDO trade shows /exhibitions and find
the trade shows to be well organized with different themes each year.
The study also indicated that SIDO organizers make use on of integrated marketing
communication tools that include various advertisement media (Radio, TV and Brochures)
as well as word of mouth communication to get their tradeshows known to the public prior
and during staging week. Various factors were found to influence SME operators’
participation and these include in order of importance: improvement of brand image,
opportunity to increase sales and customer portfolio, reinforcement of market presence and
opportunity to promote their new innovation. The study also found that the majority of SME
operators made lots of sales during and after trade exhibition. Furthermore, the trade show
generated more product inquiries in first few months after staging the trade show and this
helped SME operators to appreciate the value of trade show.
The study recommended increase in the use of other communication tools such as social
media marketing, outdoor posters and mobile vehicles to get SIDO trade shows widely
known and attended, encouraging SME operators to produce own promotional materials and
get certification of their products for the purpose of giving consumers confidence in the
quality of their products.

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